Sometime in 2013
The idea for Motimate began in 2013 after Kieran read an article in Forbes Magazine titled The secret to success? Make laziness embarrassing., which spoke about how successful people create accountablity systems to give them extra reasons to succeed. The author of the article gets an accountability buddy for her writing, something she finds hugely effective in keeping her on track.
Kieran convinced a few of his friends to take part in a small experiment. He would connect two of his friends who didn't know each other over email, asking one to be an accountability buddy for the other. Every week he would send a reminder email to encourage them to stay in contact. Somehow, a few strangers stumbled across the site and also signed up.
The first experiment yielded mixed results. Some people found it very helpful, others not so much. After collecting feedback from all the participants, it seemed that there were several key takeaways. Firstly, keeping the community active is key. An unresponsive mentor or mentee quickly saps motivation for the other user. Secondly, some mentors were better than others, and this seemed to depend on their knowledge of the specific topic, and their personality in general. Thirdly, not everyone is motivated by this type of extrinsic force.
Sometime in 2014
The first experiment seemed to indicate that the idea was worth pursuing, so Kieran formed an accountability group with several friends who were all trying to learn to code. They tracked their progress using a Facebook group and a Google sheet. A few of them found this quite effective, while others quickly fell behind.
Anxious to try Motimate on the public, but without the technology to form accountability groups, Kieran created a semi-automated one-to-one mentor/mentee system over email. The concept got lots of positive feedback and a fair number of sign-ups. Reading the goals and mini-biographies of users was inspirational in itself. Another positive was that some saw enough value in the concept to pay a small monthly fee to join.
With this experience under his belt, Kieran eventually came up with the current concept for Motimate - a site where users can join or create accountability groups for a specific goal. Each group can set its own rules, for example, some may be relaxed while others are strict, and members can track their progress against the others in the group, offering encouragement and guidance. Groups can also have a mentor - another member of the community who has experience in that specific goal.
Perhaps if Motimate had been available two years ago this whole process wouldn't have taken so long :)
Motimate is currently being built by Kieran Harrington-Ball and Timothy Mwirabua on a shoestring budget. Our dream is to create an inclusive, supportive community of proactive people. And we need your help!
We want this site to be genuinely useful and valuable to the community. Got an idea for a feature? Or want to give feedback on the existing designs? Sign-up here and we'll be in touch.
We’re looking for some awesome people to sign up to be our first mentors. You don’t have to be an expert or a professional, you just need passion for your topic, whatever it is, and a desire to give back.
Be one of our first users and help to shape the community! Just leave your email address and we’ll keep you updated on our launch date.